Kolumne 90 | Training für Muskelaufbau - Demo-Frey-Nutrition

Column 90 | Training for muscle building




Column 90 - Training for muscle building
I have been training in the gym for a year using the volume system. My trainer recommended it to me because he believes it is the most effective form of training. I have already heard from various training colleagues that they tend to do only a few sets and finish the training relatively quickly. So which method is the most effective? I am 1.80 meters tall, weigh 95 kilos and want to achieve maximum muscle growth?


Andreas Frey answers
There are many roads to Rome, as they say, but of course there are some that lead there faster and others that lead there slower. Volume training is definitely one of these. Volume training was very popular, especially in the early days of bodybuilding. Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the first real champions in bodybuilding, was a great advocate of this training system. Of course volume training brings progress, but over time more effective ways have been found to stimulate the muscles and muscle growth to the maximum.

When building muscle, it's all about maximum stimulus and then optimal recovery. Maximum muscle growth can only be achieved if both aspects are designed perfectly. The stimulus should only be strong enough to completely exhaust the muscle and should never go beyond that. Anything that goes beyond the normal stimulus required, i.e. additional unnecessary sets, is too much and will lead to overtraining in the long term. Volume training promotes up to 20 sets or more per muscle, which is clearly not only too much, i.e. beyond the required stimulus, but at high intensity can also have a catabolic effect, i.e. cause muscle breakdown. The recovery phase afterwards cannot make up for the strain during the training session.

Muscle building
Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, did volume training relatively successfully. Now a volume advocate might claim that Arnold was successful with it, so why shouldn't it work for everyone else? First of all, Arnold was blessed with above-average genetics for bodybuilding, which not everyone can boast of. With better genetics, you can also withstand greater exertion, which may not work for other athletes. On the other hand, Arnold had a lot of free time. Back then, in his best times, Arnold trained in the morning and evening with several sets; in between he could rest and recover without stress. I hardly think that anyone can live 24 hours a day for bodybuilding these days, with the exception of professional bodybuilders, as they also have other obligations, such as work and family. In short, that means that the recovery phase of an average athlete cannot be compared to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger or a professional bodybuilder, which is why comparisons can only be made inadequately.

It has been proven many times in theory and practice that short, intensive and targeted training leads to significantly higher muscle growth than long and only semi-intensive training. In short, strength training should not last longer than 60 minutes. This does not include the warm-up time or cardio sessions afterwards. 10 sets are enough for large muscle groups to provide the necessary stimulus for muscle growth; 6 sets for small muscles. If you follow a 4-split, it is easy to complete each training session in a maximum of 60 minutes. However, if you train for longer, it has been proven that the body releases cortisol to cope with the physical stress. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, i.e. it breaks down muscle; its release should be avoided if possible, otherwise you will lose muscle mass rather than build it.

Of course, as already mentioned, the training should be very intensive so that maximum muscle stimulation can be achieved in a short space of time. If you talk more than you train, it is not possible to stimulate muscle growth in 60 minutes. However, this is not possible even if you train for 2 or more hours. The intensity is and remains crucial, which means that each set should go to muscle failure, because only then does the body learn to build more strength and thus build more muscle in the long term. This happens as a natural protection in order to be able to better cope with the strain the next time, i.e. during the next training session. You should take a constant break of around 1.5 to 2 minutes between sets. A constant break because breaks that are too short hinder ATP reproduction and breaks that are too long let the muscles get cold. The repetition range should normally be 8-12. This range is ideal for building muscle. If you achieve 12 repetitions in a set, increase the weight in the next workout.

Strength training
To increase the strength training or the stimulus even further, you can also include intensity techniques. But only do this if you are no longer making progress with conventional training. The superset is my favorite here. You can use this very well in the last set by slowly reducing the weight and adding 1-3 more sets directly to the last one. Supersets increase blood flow and thus the supply of nutrients to the muscles and stimulate the last muscle fibers in the muscle. However, you should not use intensity techniques too often, as this can very quickly lead to the body overtraining. Every now and then, but never regularly, is the motto!

Of course, there are many other training systems, all of which have their place, but the basics are and always will be the same: short, intensive, infrequent and safe.

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